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Master Server: Windows vs Linux for performance?

Created: 28 Nov 2012

We are looking at deploying NetBackup 7.5.x in an environment that will support less than 1000 VMs on vSphere 4.1 and 5.0, and backup data to a tape library with several Fibre Channel LTO-5 drives. Storage arrays are heterogeneous (block and NAS), and the majority of deployed servers are Windows, with maybe 25% RHEL/Ubuntu Linux. We have a handful of physical servers, but most are VMs.

From a NetBackup performance, stability, and scalability perspective, are there significant differences between running the Master server on Windows Server 2008 R2 vice a RHEL 5.x server? If there is a difference, what's the approximate tipping point where a RHEL server makes a noticable difference? Can you migrate tape catalogs from one OS to the other if needed?

We have more administrators familiar with Windows, but there was some concern about possible performance, scalability or stability issues with NetBackup on Windows for the master server role. 

Regardless of the master server OS, we will be using a Windows 2008R2 server for the VMware API backups, since we don't support any of the limited Linux distros that are on the NetBackup VMware API compability list. If it makes any difference, we are considering adding NetBackup appliances to the mix, for D2D2T backups.

Thanks!